That’s the word around, with the 28 year-old Brisbane Roar striker out of contract at the end of the season. Sydney FC may be looking for a new marquee player when Alessandro Del Piero completes his 2 year contract.
As Berisha has less than six months left on his contract, he is free to discuss terms with other clubs, with the permission of the Roar. He hasn’t committed beyond this season, suggesting he may test the market to see what he is worth. His salary is still included in Brisbane’s salary cap, so it is highly unlikely he would currently be on a salary over $400,000. With his recent form, he could command upwards of $700,000, potentially more if he were to seek a move overseas. As it stands Thomas Broich is Brisbane’s marquee player, suggesting he is their highest paid player.
Rugby Union star James O’Connor has signed with French club Toulon for the 2014 season. He is currently playing with London Irish, who compete in the English Premiership, until the end of the season. The 23 year-old left Australia after he was granted an early release from his Australian Rugby Union contract.
The french side have former Wallabies stars Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell also on their roster. The Top 14 League in France can be quite lucrative. With recent TV deals in their favour, the average salary of the league is around $150,000. In comparison the English Championship’s average is about $125,000. The Top 14 has a salary cap of €10m (£8.6m) per year, which easily eclipses the £4.5 of the English Championship. Salaries are paid monthly, and it has been reported Matt Giteau makes approximately €40,000 per month. Based on this, it is possible for James O’Connor to reach a figure of approximately €600,000 a season.
There has been much speculation about the future of Luis Suarez. The player has spoken out previously about his desire to move from Liverpool, as he had ambition to move to a bigger club. Now it seems all is well for the Uruguayan striker, who has netted 17 goals this season. He has signed a new deal with the Merseyside club that will keep him at the club till 2018.
His previous contract had 2 and 1/2 years remaining, with his weekly salary being £120,000. In his new deal, he will be paid £170,000 for the rest of the 2013-14 season, and then his wage will rise to £200,000 per week till 2018. Presumably this figure would not include image rights and bonuses, which could net him an extra £3-4 million per year. There has also been no mention of a fee release clause, which prevented him from moving mid-year.
The news will come as a massive relief to Liverpool fans, as his performances have seen the club move into Champions League contention.
Brazilian firm Pluri Consultoriahas compiled a list of the highest paid football coaches in the world, and the results have found that Bayern Munich’s Pep Guardiola is on top, with a yearly salary of €17 million. The 42 year-old former Barcelona manager took over the German giants at the start of this season.
Of the 30 names mentioned on the list, 8 are currently managing a team in the English Premier League. Jose Mourinho, in his second stint for Chelsea, is the highest paid manager in England on a salary of a little over €10 million. Arsene Wenger, who is the longest serving current coach, comes in fourth, with a wage of approximately €8.2 million.
Of note is Marcelo Lippi, who comes in third on the list with an annual salary of €10 million. The former Italian manager is currently in charge of Guangzhou Evergrande, who compete in the Chinese Super League. He has been in charge since 2012.
David Moyes, who recently took over from Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, comes in at 7th on the list with an annual salary of just under €6 million.
Robbie Kruse, Marcos Rojas and Mitchell Langreak are about to be joined in the Bundesliga by another Aussie. Kwame Yeboah, formerly of the Brisbane Roar, has flown to Germany to sign with Borussia Monchengladbach.He has passed a medical and will transfer to the team in January. The 19 year old striker has scored 2 goals in 9 appearances for the Roar this season.
While a fee has not been disclosed, it would be safe to assume that a player with such potential would command a fee over $500,000. The transfer must wait until January 1st as this is when the European Football Transfer Window opens. Borussia Monchengladbach are currently 4th on the league table. Another Australian has been on their books before, with Matthew Leckie playing between 2011-13 before transferring to FSV Frankfurt,
In October I reported that Rajon Rondo had teamed up with Chinese sportswear company Atna. At the time it was heavily rumored that Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons was going to be next in line. Today that confirmation came through.
Despite considering offers from Adidas and Under Armour, Parsons opted for a much more lucrative and longer deal with Atna. The 25 year old is currently in the final year of his rookie contract and is set to maximize his on courts earnings as well. He is due to make $916,000 this season but that figure could reach around $7 million next season should he opt out of his final year and become a restricted free agent.
Many players are opting against signing with the likes of Adidas and Nike for smaller, emerging brands. San Antonio guard Tony Parker is among a small number of NBA players who are currently sponsored by sportswear brand Peak. High profile NBA players will still opt for the bigger companies, as their brand awareness helps them market their shoes to a wider audience.
It’s been a relatively quiet year in the athlete representation industry in Australia. There were no new Collective Bargaining Agreements negotiated, no major agency moves and no notable lawsuits. The biggest news of the year was arguably Lance Franklin’s move to the Sydney Swans in the AFL. Liam Pickering managed to get the free agent a 9 year, $10 million contract, a figure never before seen in the game.
Looking to next year there is a little bit more on the agenda. Below is a look at what to expect in athlete representation in 2014:
AFL Collective Bargaining Agreement: What will the review bring?
As per the agreement signed in 2011, the AFL Players Association and the AFL had the right to review the 5 year deal in 2014. The AFLPA are angling for a percentage of revenue deal, similar to what is in place in many sporting leagues. The equalisation of clubs may also be discussed, and a potential luxury tax or salary cap for football departments has been mentioned.
IMG Sale: How will it affect Australian operations?
With the sale of powerhouse agency IMG nearly the final stages, what impact will it have on the Australian office? The firm has quit representation of AFL players in recent years, but still has a strong arm in tennis and rugby. Their Models division also has a large presence in Australia. While the company will certainly go through a name change, it is highly unlikely that the day-today operations will change. The final stage of bidders are companies currently not involved in Australia, and any contraction of business wouldn’t make economic sense.
AGENTS AND AGENCIES TO WATCH
This firm is less than a year old, with Lucy Mills leaving Connors Sports Management to set up her own agency. The Lighthaus already boasts a stellar list of clients including Adam Goodes, Jimmy Bartel and media personality Rebecca Judd. Look for this company to move further into celebrity management.
This Melbourne based sports management company has seen a rise in clients over the past 12 months, with things looking like they won’t slow down. The company recently signed Hawthorn premiership coach Alastair Clarkson, who is looking like hitting the $1 million club in his next contract. DSEG’s clients division keeps making strides without representing players in any of the major codes. Look for this agency to maintain a strong hold on racing media talent and possibly make a bigger splash in cricket.
Ricky Nixon: What will he do?
After a spell on the sidelines Ricky can apply to be an AFL accredited agent again next year. But the big question remains, will he? He has remained coy on what his next project will be, though a consultant role to players has been raised in the past.
THE FREE AGENTS
AFL: Will Carlton lose two of their stars?
Next years’ list of potential free agents in AFL will have many clubs salivating. Heading the list is David Mundy, who is expected to look for a deal worth $700,000 a season. This figure will rise should a bidding war begin. At 28, this will most likely be his last big payday. With Barlow, Fyfe and Sandilands out of contract the Fremantle Dockers may have a hard time squeezing all their talent in the cap. Two of Carlton’s major players in Bryce Gibbs and Marc Murphy are also on the market. Both will look for deals worth over $600,000 a year. Hawthorn and Collingwood have a lot of cap room to play with and could make a play for a big star.
NRL: Will Sonny Bill stay on?
Sonny Bill Williams has already committed to another season with the Sydney Roosters, but should he have a season like his last he will almost certainly consider offers from Rugby Union. Melbourne Storm Captain Cameron Smith has been touted for a move to the Brisbane Broncos, with offers of $3 million over 3 years being tempted to lure the Queenslander to his home state.
James O’Connor: Will he return?
James O’Connor packed his bags for England this year, signing for the London Irish. He had a tumultuous 2013 and subsequently has been stood down from Wallabies duties. The 23 year-old play-maker has a lot of raw talent, will he return to Super 15 or pursue the riches of Europe?
ATHLETES SET FOR A MASSIVE 2014
This 18 year-old Melbournian has a difficult choice to make. Already predicted to go 5th in the NBA Draft, he is currently considering whether to make the leap to the big time early in favor of missing playing in college. He is yet to sign an agent, as this would void his college eligibility. His signature will be hotly contested, as a top 5 pick can make over $20 million in their first contract.
Australia’s greatest ever snowboarder is set to excel in Sochi at the Winter Olympics this year. The defending champion is on track for another gold medal, which can allow her to gain further marketability in her sport. Torah is Australia’s best hope for a gold.
While Mitchell Johnson is having a fantastic 2013, look for him to succeed off the pitch next year. The fast bowler will certainly to garner a string of endorsements, not to mention a lucrative IPL contract.
Reports have suggested that David Warner could stand to make $50 million over the next 10
years. With what will certainly be a large increase in his Cricket Australia contract, he will look for even more riches in the IPL.
While the industry in Australia is relatively small compared to other markets, there is always something happening. The above mentioned issues and agencies are only the tip of the iceberg of what is exciting times for athlete representation. Stay tuned to this blog and my Twitter for what is sure to be an eventful year